The Ingenuity miniature helicopter, which was lowered to the surface of Mars from the bottom of the Perseverance rover on April 4, has successfully “survived” its first independent night, when temperatures can drop to -90 ° C and damage its microcircuits and batteries. This was reported by the US Aerospace Administration.
NASA clarified that making a device small enough to fit on a rover, light enough to fly in the thin atmosphere of Mars, but hardy enough to withstand local frost, “was a major engineering challenge.”
The FDA called the temperature test a “milestone” for the rotorcraft: “We now have confirmation that there is adequate insulation, heaters and enough power in six Li-Ion batteries to survive the cold night.”
See photo: Who bought the “ticket to Mars”? See where your names are now
Over the next two days, Ingenuity will be gathering information on how thermoregulation and power systems work effectively now that the mini-helicopter is autonomous in Mars conditions. The data is used to fine tune systems.
On April 7, it is planned to remove the restraints holding the rotor blades together one above the other, after which the rotor, motors, inertial measuring unit and on-board computers will be tested.
On the morning of April 12, Kiev time, Ingenuity will try to become the first aircraft to make a controlled flight on another planet. The flight might look like this.